How did the Powerball jackpot reach record levels?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 01:34PM
Here's how the Powerball jackpot grows.

As this Wednesday's Powerball jackpot reaches $700 million, hopeful future millionaires are lining up for their chance at the money.

What started out as a $40 million jackpot on June 14, has now grown to the second largest pot in history. The largest jackpot in Powerball history was over $1.5 billion.

In 2015, Powerball added more numbers to the drawing, making it easier to win smaller prizes, but also less likely to win the jackpot. The odds of winning the jackpot went from 1 in 175 million to 1 in 292 million.

When more tickets are purchased, the jackpot grows. Powerball officials expect to sell 170 million tickets for tonight's drawing.

"More play happens at the higher level so your odds of sharing it are greater at the greater jackpot levels," Powerball chairman Charlie McIntyre told ABC News.

If no winning ticket is drawn tonight, the DC Lottery has told ABC News the jackpot will roll to $1 billion.
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